Take a gander, if you haven’t, at Rock Candy, where Leslie Newell Peacock reports on controversy over content of Byron Taylor’s painting (above), entered in the Arkansas League of Artists show at the Cox Center. It’s still hanging, for now. As Leslie notes, it’s not the first time that content of a piece of art has been controversial. She suggests — given current political times — an even better display place for the message would be the Arkansas Capitol. I don’t think Bart Hester would stand for it.
UPDATE: All’s well that end’s well. Byron has sent me a message he’s about to post on his Facebook that says the painting will continue to appear in the exhibit and he’s had a full conversation with those in charge about everything. Leslie also got a note from ALA and reports it on Rock Candy. His note:
“Good news! The situation with “Legacy II,” the Arkansas League of Artists and the Spring Show at the Cox Center has been resolved. And earlier than I expected! (This means I can maybe paint today instead of riding the rocket that’s been produced from my Facebook post yesterday morning!)
I received a call at about 11 am from Ms. Franke. She apologized for trying to keep the painting out of the exhibit and told me that it would still hang in the show. We had a longer conversation about my motives for hanging in the ALA shows and even my membership in the ALA and, although we agreed to disagree, the outcome was still positive.
This episode has had some amazing results and repercussions, not the least of which are coverage in the Arkansas Times by Max Brantley and Leslie Peacock. I’ve been offered an on-camera interview with a local tv anchor and the painting itself has had several offers to purchase.
The main thing, though, is the unbelievable groundswell of support I’ve seen from friends, friends of friends and people I’ve never heard of! The original post, at this time, has 239 reactions, 131 comments and 60 shares – the majority of these shares are from people I don’t know, but who have reacted – all positively, to my situation. This means more to me than any of you realize – validation is so important when you’re putting yourself out there, whether in fine art, theater, or any creative endeavor. I’ve received such wonderful support over the past day or so that I’m still reeling from the love and encouragement I’ve gotten from my Facebook friends and the extended community through them. If I don’t get to thank you individually, please know that I appreciate all of the responses so much. Thank you, thank you thank you!
One more thing – If you want to see the painting hanging in the contested show, please feel free to come to the opening reception, on the 3rd floor of the Cox Center, next Friday (the 8th) at 6pm. Or any time the Center is open after that until April 30th.
Best birthday present ever! ☺”